In November 2021, Telstra will begin blocking calls made from ServiceM8 Phone, to Telstra numbers, where your own outbound Caller ID is set to a Telstra number. This is part of Telstra’s response to new industry regulations under the Reducing Scam Calls (C661:2020) code in Australia.
If you use ServiceM8 Phone and have your outbound Caller ID set to a Telstra phone number (e.g. your pre-existing business number), these restrictions impact you.
What this means to you
If you currently have your ServiceM8 Phone outbound Caller ID set to a Telstra phone number, whether landline or mobile, you will be impacted. However, we have taken steps to minimise disruption to your business.
To maintain your service continuity, choose from one of two simple options:
- Port your Telstra number to ServiceM8 Phone. Choose this option if you want to continue using your existing phone number (mobile or landline) as your outbound Caller ID. This process takes a few weeks, so you should act immediately. Jump to this section for more information.
- Use your ServiceM8 Phone number as your Caller ID. Your outbound Caller ID will automatically revert to your assigned ServiceM8 Phone number, to ensure outbound calls you make to Telstra numbers don't get blocked. (Jump to this section for more information.)
Option 1 - Port your Telstra number to ServiceM8 Phone
If you would like to continue using your existing Telstra phone number as your outbound Caller ID with ServiceM8 Phone, you must "port" your number and service to ServiceM8 Phone.
“Porting” is the process of transferring your phone number from one phone service provider to another i.e. switching phone service providers, and taking your existing phone number with you.
Some key points:
- There is no charge to port your phone number to ServiceM8 Phone.
- The minimum usage requirements (3 months & 1000 calls) do not apply to ServiceM8 Phone users in Australia.
- Both landline and mobile numbers can be ported to ServiceM8 Phone in Australia.
- You must maintain your Telstra service/account up until the porting process is complete, after which you can cancel your account with Telstra.
- The porting process takes 4-6 weeks, so the sooner you start, the better.
Go to this article to learn how to port your phone number to ServiceM8 Phone.
Option 2 - Use your ServiceM8 Phone number as your Caller ID
If you don’t want to port your Telstra phone number & service to ServiceM8 Phone, you can use your existing ServiceM8 Phone number as your outbound Caller ID. No action is required on your part — this change will occur automatically.
Some key points:
- You can find your default ServiceM8 Phone number online in Settings > ServiceM8 Phone > Your Number.
- You will need to continue maintaining your separate Telstra phone service.
- You can still divert calls received by your Telstra phone number to ServiceM8 Phone, but all outbound calls will come from your ServiceM8 Phone number.
- If you want to change your existing ServiceM8 Phone number, you can — see this article for more information.
About the new Caller ID restrictions on Telstra numbers
The Australian Communications Alliance and the Australian Communications and Media Authority have introduced the Reducing Scam Calls (C661:2020) industry code to identify, track, block, and disrupt scam calls. The full code can be found here.
From November 2021, one of Telstra's responses to the code is to block calls where the Caller ID is set to a Telstra number, but the call was not made from a Telstra service. This is designed to combat scammers, including the practice of “number spoofing” e.g. where overseas scammers set their caller ID to a different/local number to trick potential victims into answering their calls.
Setting your outbound Caller ID to your existing Telstra number with ServiceM8 Phone has always involved a security verification process, to ensure only you as the true owner of the phone number can use it as your Caller ID with ServiceM8 Phone. However, this will not prevent your calls being blocked under Telstra's new measures — please refer to Options 1 & 2 above.